Utility of a Nook/Kindall/iPad?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by lfaulk, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. lfaulk

    lfaulk Member

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    I will be attending USAFA with the class of 2015 and I was wondering if there was any advantage to bringing a Nook, Kindall, or iPad after the academic year gets underway. Are they even allowed? I know that each of the cadets is issued a laptop, and I didn't know if any of the above products would be beneficial in addition to the provided supplies. Thank you for any feedback you may have!
     
  2. DjSanguine

    DjSanguine USAFA '15 Appointee

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    I'd be inclined to believe that these are not allowed until after Recognition. I'm not sure, but I'd be willing to bet that this is the case.
     
  3. jetset15

    jetset15 Member

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    I don't think we'll really need those... If we have laptops, an iPad esp wouldn't be necessary. Also, I have the feeling that we get issued PCs so I don't know about compatibility issues.

    What about smartphones? My birthday's coming up and I need a new phone anyway, so I'm looking at a couple Android ones... how do squadrons deal with not using media? Is it on Honor? Basically, am I allowed to even own a smartphone next year?
     
  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    So, depends on the question. Are you asking if it would be useful academically?

    I got a Kindle DX as a firstie. I actually wanted it for help in reducing my book load! I had mixed results. For my English 400 course and scholar's capstone course, I loved it. Most of the books were in kindle format. I was able to takes notes and highlight passages then bring them up very easily. Another use I wanted was for my chemistry work. In my upper level chem we used and read extensively from primary research which came mostly in the form of journal articles in PDF format. Instead of printing a gazillion pages of journal articles, I could put them on the kindle. Downside: no PDF highlighting on the kindle, so it wasn't as useful.

    On the up side, I loved it for traveling, especially for long trips (like my month in Europe last summer!). Instead of lugging books, my kindle saved some packing space. :)

    As far as utility....I'd say you wouldn't be much better off honestly. If you want one because you like it and find it more convenient, go for it.

    EDIT: They are not prohibited. The iPad might get some scrutiny, but the kindle/nook would not be a problem at all. 4 digs are allowed to have their own computers, so the iPad would be fine as well. Get caught listening to music or watching TV at your own risk.
     
  5. lfaulk

    lfaulk Member

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    I was planning on using it almost exclusively for academic purposes. I am all about saving time and space, and I thought a Nook would be a good way to go. About how many classes would I be able to use a Nook for as a doolie? Thanks for the information!
     
  6. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    My daughter is a Sophomore -- we gave her a Kindle for Christmas this year. She loads both academic books and fun reading books on it from amazon.com. She has had time this year to read some "fun stuff" and has also gotten a lot of use out of it for books, articles required and/or recommended by her teachers. I do not think that she could have used it before Recognition freshman year -- also she really didn't have the time for any "recreational" fun reading before fall of Sophomore year, aside from a magazine here and there freshman year.
     
  7. Rage_14

    Rage_14 Member

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    I have a friend who used a kindle for her books as a freshman before recognition, but it might just depend on your squad. You might be able to find out if you ask an upperclassman during transition week after basic and then order it and have it in time for class. In the long run it would definitely be cheaper than buying books every semester.
     
  8. tennisfan88

    tennisfan88 USAFA 2014

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    do keep in mind that you can only use the Academy's wi-fi (which is horribly slow) on your laptop and not on any other device
     
  9. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Not many. Most of the textbooks used are not in kindle or nook format yet (and I don't forsee many of them reaching e-format soon). You could get use out of it for english courses since about 70% of the reading is available in kindle/nook format. So, you might be able to use it in English 111.

    She would have. Two reasons why. The less rigorous reason is that they have no reason to restrict an e-reader. There is nothing it can do that the computers can't already do. Second, and the best reason is that if it is being used for academic purposes (such as holding any course reading), there is NO WAY they can restrict it as an academic component.

    No, it would not be cheaper. I proved that with my own. Even with the cheap kindle coming out at $114, you will not come out on top in terms of course reading. Most of the English books are cheap. The paperback copies of the classics (Shakespeare, Steinbeck, and similar) cost <$5. Best case is the readings which are no longer copyrighted (like Shakespeare) are free in e-format. You might save ~$40 in core readings in all three english courses in this way. IF the course readings happen to be in kindle/nook format that are not like the ones above, you might save $5 in the e-format in my experience. Might save another ~$20 this way. This is excluding that you can probably buy the books off another cadet for a couple bucks, in which case you are far worse off with the kindle (esp since you also can't resell the books). By the time you graduate, you would still be at least $60 down, but realistically more. Don't even get me started on discount rates and other cost-benefit components! (Comes out even worse!). You have to buy books each semester, can't be avoided.

    So here's my take on the kindle, as an owner. My expected gains costs of academics by using it didn't occur. It was a marginal improvement with highlighting features in english 411, but only marginal. Would I still have gotten it again? Yes. I used it often when I traveled and it saved from from lugging big books on long trips. I also hate holding a book open and tend to shift a lot while reading. The kindle was more convenient for my every day reading based on how I read. I am happy with it.

    In the end, I like my kindle because it suits how I read and is good for travel. I am not saving any money by using it, I am paying for the convenience. If you want it, get it for reasons like this. Don't fool yourself, you won't save any money. I promise.
     

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